For those who can’t/haven’t downloaded the app, here’s a description: everything happens on a single screen, with the villain and environment along the top and the heroes around the bottom/right/left. You touch an area (hero, environment, villain) and a popup appears where you can choose which one to put at that position. For villains and heroes, you’re presented with that character’s hit points which you can plus up or minus down to keep track of the current total. There’s also a second tracker per character for max hit points (nice touch).
For the heroes, it doesn’t track cards in any way [see update below], but for the villain and environment, it lets you lay out any of that deck’s cards that have hp and then track the hp & max hp of each one separately. For example, when I choose Pike Industrial Complex, the only choice for adding a card to that area is to add “Escaped Lab Rat”. But if I choose Insula Primalis, I can add a T-Rex, pterodactyl, or velociraptor.
I checked what would happen when you lay out Matriarch, since you’re likely to subsequently lay out a zillion birds. It’s easy enough. Once you have too many cards to fit inside the villain’s play area, you have to scroll that area to see all the cards. Not bad.
There are options for randomizing the game, you can turn on/off the option to have a card automatically disappear when you drop its hp to zero, you can tell it to include Rook City or not, and you can even toggle whether you want to allow duplicate heroes. The best option is toggling it so that the screen never locks while you have the app open – a must since I think it would kill the utility of the app if you had to swipe your iPad back to life every time you had to update anything in the app. There are also links to web resources such as the rules from the SotM website, the forums, boardgamegeek, etc.
I dig the app. I think they need to strike a deal with SotM right away so that the app can include official art, 'cause that would make it even awesomer. I would also maybe make a suggestion about the layout of the areas on the screen – right now it’s laid out like you’d actually have players sitting around a table, which is fine, except that the heroes on the right and left are rotated 90-degrees (it’s basically just like the playmat). That would make sense if you’re going to lay the iPad in the center of the table and have everyone reach in to update their hero’s hp. But another way I can see this being used is for a single person to keep the iPad next to them while everyone plays, and in that use case, all the hero areas should perhaps be oriented to be readable in portrait mode. Maybe that could be an option? Also, adding +/- trackers for damage dealt or other things would be sweet.
UPDATE: I spoke too soon about it not tracking hero cards. If you choose Visionary, it does in fact let you lay out any number of Decoy Projections. These guys think of everything.